Today I made a contribution in the amount of $250 to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fund, a collaborative project of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Archives, Fold3, and Ancestry.com. I understand this makes me a Preservation Patriot, but that's hardly the point. As the first paragraph on the website explains:
"The Pension Records from the War of 1812 are among the most requested documents at the National Archives. Unfortunately, these fragile documents are in urgent need of digitization. In support of this monumental task of digitizing 7.2 million pages, Ancestry.com has provided a dollar for dollar matching grant, so every dollar you contribute will make four more pages accessible and free for everyone."
It goes on to comment that the high demand for the records, available in no other format, makes them especially vulnerable to deterioration. Records are being uploaded as they are digitized, and are free to view here at http://go.fold3.com/1812pensions/ . Images will be offered for free at Fold3 indefinitely.
My receipt tells me that my contribution will make over 1100 more pages available, which is a great feeling. Now, if only any of them had clues to my brick walls!